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Early Start

News/Business. John Berman, Zoraida Sambolin. The latest breaking news and trending stories. New.

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Us 16, Indiana 12, Richmond 10, Cyprus 9, Francis 8, U.s. 8, Garth 7, Florida 7, John 6, Bjorn 6, Cnn 6, Montreal 5, Steubenville 5, Kentucky 5, Robertson 5, Trent Mays 4, Post Shredded Wheat 4, Mohammed 4, Paula Newton 4, Advair 4,
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  CNN    Early Start    News/Business. John Berman, Zoraida Sambolin.  
   The latest breaking news and trending stories. New.  

    March 18, 2013
    2:00 - 4:00am PDT  

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now to the big stories in the week ahead. we begin with the president's plans for the week. >> reporter: after trying out his charm offensive on republicans for the last week and a half, president obama will work on international diplomacy. on tuesday, two days after st. patrick's day, he we will comes the prime minister of ireland to the white house and then mr. obama embarks on a very important trip overseas to the middle east where he'll sit down with israeli leaders and also meet with leaders of palestinian authority before making his way to jordan. during this trip mr. obama is expected to issue a very strong warning to iran they will not be able to develop nuclear weapons. >> coming up this week on wall street a host of major companies will report their earnings. we'll hear from fedex, general mills, nike, and tiffany. the fed announces its latest rate decision. that comes on wednesday. we'll be listening very closely to comments from central bankers on overall economic recovery especially after a particularly strong february jobs report.
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then on thursday we'll get the latest existing home sales numbers for the month of february. those are key because existing home sales actually make up about 90% of the overall housing market. that will show us if this rebound we've seen seeing this housing is continuing. we'll track all of that and the latest business news for you on cnn money. a.j. hammer, this is what we're watching this week. celebrity obsession with the jodi arias trials. the stars can't stop talking and tweeting about the wild trial including aubrey o'day. don't miss my one-on-one with her arias obsession. an update to the daring escape. two inmates from a helicopter at maximum security prison outside montreal. police ordered the two to fly to the prison but within an hour police captured one inmate.
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the man who told a radio station he would rather die than going to a jail cell. police also captured the second. they're both back in custody. i'm don lemon at cnn headquarters in atlanta. thanks for watching. have a great night and a great week. this is south bend, indiana. >> raging wildfires happening right now. national guard preparing to deploy dozens of cabins already destroyed. the rnc releasing its autopsy. where did the party go and will the results be enough to get the gop back on track. >> what we're really doing this morning, filling out our brackets. march madness is set. it does not come without some controversy.
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>> i think i won last year our an kror bracket. take a look at that. slamming into two homes, damaging a third and winding up inside one of those homes. >> my roof is caved in. there was glass everywhere. the front of the house, windows busted out. i just grabbed my son and got him clothes and we ran out. >> i have a big picture window and the plane was coming toward me. i was afraid it was coming in the house. and it swerved and went across the street. >> i thought that was it. i mean, when i looked up, the plane was right over the top of me right then. my wife was standing in the door and i hit the ground. i thought it was going to explode when it hit, but it didn't. >> oh, my goodness. jim spellman live on the scene in south bend, indiana.
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you have the latest. good morning to you. >> reporter: good morning. take a look at this. totally surreal scene in this neighborhood. we're in the backside of these homes. you can see a section of the wing or rear stabilizer in the middle of this home. all the other homes around it are fine. it's hard to believe there was a plane crash yesterday. what we know is two people are confirmed dead. another person seriously injured. our understanding at this point is that all of those people were on the plane. at this point, we believe everybody on the ground is safe. there was one additional injury here. what we understand happened is yesterday around 2:00 in the afternoon, plane reported some sort of trouble. tried to do a landing. was not able to do that. went to do a circle around. obviously, never made it. landed here in these homes. >> jim, do we know who the victims are here? have they identified them? >> reporter: we do not know yet. we know the plane originated in till stulsa, oklahoma.
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we don't know the identities. >> that's a horrific site. when will people be able to return to their homes in that area? >> reporter: they hope later this morning. but they have a lot of work to do. the ntsb investigates are already on the scene. they're going to complete their on-site investigation before they remove the plane from the house. they have to make sure jet fuel is safe and everything is structurally safe. >> jim spellman reporting live from south bend, indiana. thank you very much. happening right now, the national guard in tennessee preparing to deploy two helicopters to help fight a huge fire in the resort town. it broke out yesterday afternoon and destroyed more than 30 cabins. andrew spencer has the story. >> reporter: from the air, can you see the scale of the wildfire. house after house after house up in flames. this is pigeon forge, tennessee.
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fast-moving fire caught both visitors and lowers offguard. >> i don't know if it's our property. our friends live up there. >> reporter: there's also concern for those on the front lines. >> i've been sending him text messages telling him i love him and i want them all to come home safe. >> reporter: 150 people evacuated. >> it's a huge fire. large amount of resources up here. we've had our -- it's been rough. i mean, it's been as rough as i've ever seen it. >> reporter: on saturday some of the same firefighters battled a smaller brush fire at dollywood theme park. across the country, more wildfires. in florida on sunday, smoke from a forest fire mixed with fog to cause numerous traffic accidents on i-95. saturday in south carolina a brush fire destroyed more than two dozen buildings including a housing complex displacing more than 180 people.
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and in colorado on friday, fierce winds helping fuel a wildfire at a state park near ft. collins forcing hundreds of evacuatio evacuations. the wildfire season off to an early and dangerous start. andrew spencer reporting. >> four minutes past the hour. developing overnight, canadian police arresting the fourth and final suspect in a daring prison escape. this happened sunday afternoon at a maximum security prison outside montreal. police say two inmates, 36-year-old benjamin hudson barbo climbed a dangling ladder to a helicopter. >> that is insane. >> isn't it? the inmates along with two unidentified suspects are all in custody now. an investigation under way right now to figure out what caused a deadly bus crash carrying a college lacrosse team in seton hill. the the bus driver and team's
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head coach, a young mother who was six months pregnant, were killed. >> everyone's devastated by the losses. almost seems like we're coming together, you know, as a school. >> christina quigley's unborn child did not survive. police say they don't know what caused the crash and no other vehicle was involved. they're examining the bus for possible mechanical problems. >> the little boy she was carrying, that's what reports say, and she had another little boy at home. president obama expected to announce his pick today for labor secretary. it's tomas perez, assistant attorney general, who heads up civil rights division. the president is preparing for a visit to israel tomorrow. the first international trip of his second term and first of his presidency to jewish state. after visiting jerusalem he'll head to jordan.
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this is the internal review detailing where the party went wrong in 2012 and how to reverse fortunes for the next election. >> we have to relate things to people's lives. we have to win the math war, which we do a good job of. but we have to learn how to win the heart war. in presidential elections what is plaguing our party. >> this comes after the first sort of votes of 2016 were cast this weekend with kentucky's paul winning cpac straw poll. we're joined live from washington with mark. i took a look at embargoed copy of this report coming out today. there are more than 200 recommendatio recommendations. >> it comes back to demographsidemographic
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demographics. what was very troubling for them as well as asian-americans as well. what prebus said on "face the nation" it's going to cost money. this is what he said. >> we'll be announcing a $10 million initiative just this year which will include hundreds of people paid across the country from coast to coast and hispanic, african-american, asian communities, talking about our party, talking about our brand, talking about what we believe in. >> there you have it. reince priebus on sunday talk shows. what's also interesting from the report, from those that have seen it, is they'll open up an office out in san francisco to harness the technology brain power we see in silicon valley. >> technology data a big part of it. also messages and also the mechanics of picking a president. they're talking about sort of redoing the entire primary process.
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>> they are, john. you know, there was a big frustration among established republicans when they saw 20 presidential debates happen in the past campaign. they thought these debates were destructive to the eventual nominee, mitt romney. they wanted to reform that. >> i think our debate calendar needs to be shrunk. i think we had way too many debates, candidates slicing and dicing each other. i think they had to wait too long to get to the convention. i'm calling for a convention in june or july. >> and there you have it. reince preibus talking about moving up their convention. he's talking about doing that now at the beginning of the summer. it will greatly alter what we're used to in seeing how a presidential campaign operates. >> will front-load the whole process, giving us a few months of intense, intense campaigning. nice to see you this morning. thanks for coming in.
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later on "starting point" we'll talk about the republican blueprint with ari fleischer. also cnn's jake tapper, whoegs new show "the lead" launches this afternoon at 4:00 eastern time on cnn. he'll be on the show at 8:00 talking about the republican plan. listen up. calling all bracketologists, the field for ncaa men's field is set and the team that won it all a year ago is not even in the tournament. kentucky left out of the whole thing as louisville gets the overall number one seed. tops in the midwest region. the other one seeds, gonzaga, indiana and kansas. march madness is in full swing at cnn center in atlanta. look at this. this is time-lapse video and shows the construction of a giant ncaa tournament bracket. this year's final four will be at the georgia dome in atlanta. the tourney gets under way tomorrow. we're all filling in our
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brackets. you can compete against us, go to cnn.com/brackets and join the cnn group. >> i might be an easy target. it's a hard bracket. >> have you ever won? >> i haven't. >> ha! >> because i care too much. >> or you're no good. a big story this weekend out of ohio. coming up we'll talk about that verdict in the steubenville, ohio, rape case. two teenagers will be locked up. soon, even more people could be charged. there most of my life. you name it...i've hooked it. but there's one... one that's always eluded me. thought i had it in the blizzard of '93. ha! never even came close. sometimes, i actually think it's mocking me. [ engine revs ] what?! quattro!!!!! ♪
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welcome back to "early start." it's a case that captured the nation's attention. two teenagers accused of raping a drunken 16-year-old girl during a booze-fuelled night of partying in august. they learned their fate sunday morning. the high school football players for steubenville's big red never took the stand but maintained their innocence throughout. and the judge found them guilty on all counts. poppy harlow was in court for the entire trial. she has this story. >> reporter: the mother of the 16-year-old victim spoke out for the first time since trent mays and ma'lik richmond raped her daughter saying this after court ended. >> it did not matter what school you went to, what city you lived in or what sports you played, human compassion is not taught by a teacher, coach or a parent. it is a god given gift and instilled in all of us. you displayed not only a lack of this compassion but a lack of any moral code.
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your decision that's night affected countless lives including those most dear to you. you were your own accuser through the social media that you chose to publish your criminal conduct on. this does not define who my daughter is. she will persevere, grow, and move on. i have pitty for you both. i hope you fear the lord, repent for your actions and pray hard for his forgiveness. >> reporter: the convicted rapists, both teenage boys, showing remorse after being found guilty. >> i would truly like to apologize to. [ beep ] her family, my family and the community. >> i would like to apologize. i had no intention to do anything wrong. i'm sorry to put you guys through this. i would just like -- >> i just want you to understand that i'm sorry.
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>> the 16-year-old girl was raped during a series of late night parties in august when she was drunk. >> the court is able to view the demeanor of the witnesses, judge their credibility, and weigh the evidence presented to the court. the court has done so in this case and it is the court's decision that both of the defendants are hereby adjudic e adjudicated delinquent beyond a reasonable doubt on all three counts as charged. >> malik rich monld, one gleer a juvenile correction facility for rape. trend mays to a minimum of two years, guilty of rape and of taking and distributing and illegal nude photograph of the victim. both mays and richmond will also have to register as juvenile sex o offenders. the girl was so intoxicated she wasn't capable of consenting to anything. >> this case is about a
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16-year-old girl who was taken advantage of, toyed with and humiliated. and it's time that the people who did that to her are held responsible. >> reporter: eyewitness testimony from three teenage boys all friends of mays and richmond and all granted immunity from criminal prosecution was damaging. he videotaped mays performing a sexual act on the girl during a car ride between parties. two others testified they saw richmond do the same later that night while she was lying naked on the floor. in the state of ohio, this act performed without consent constitutes rape. >> there is an unbelievable casualness about rape and about sex. it's a cavalier attitude, a belief that somehow there isn't even wrong with any of this. >> reporter: text messages, tweets and photos were at the center of the trial.
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fellow teens vulgarly joked about the rape. song of the night is definitely "rape me" by nirvana. >> what if that was your daughter? >> it wasn't. if it was my daughter, i wouldn't care. >> witnesses read text messes including this one before b. the victim. yeah, dude, she was like a dead body. i just needed some sexual attention. there was no jury. this was a bench trial with visiting judge thomas lips rendering the verdict because this was a juvenile case. poppy harlow, cnn, steubenville, ohio. >> mark dewine announced after this verdict that a grant jury will be convened april 15th to determine if other crimes were committed in this incident, meaning more people could be charged here. 19 minutes after the hour. let's bring you up to speed on all the news happening around the world. a private jet slamming into two homes, possibly damaging a third, and ending up nose first
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inside one of these houses. the body of the plane almost really split in half right there. an faa spokesman says there were four people onboard, two of them are dead, at least three other people including one person on the ground are injured. louisiana's governor in a car accident last night in baton rouge. bobby agenda will was on his way home from his son's soccer game when a truck made an illegal u-turn and sideswiped his vehicle. the governor was not hurt but a state trooper went to the hospital with minor injuries. vice president joe biden is in italy leading a u.s. delegation of the pope's inauguration mass tomorrow. he has work on his agenda later today, meeting with italy's president and prime minister. pope francis giving his first noon blessing yesterday with an estimated 200,000 worshippers looking on. people in droves sunday to honor ireland's patron saint, st. patrick. in dublin, ireland, a quarter of a million people line the streets for this parade. more than a million showed up
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for celebrations in boston. who knew st. paddy's days with a hit in shanghai. look at this. with irish songs and dances and, of course, green chinese brag dragons. >> my boys made leprechaun traps. they wanted to catch a leprecha leprechaun. they put them out saturday night to see if they caught anything. >> they did not catch anything. >> the leprechauns some chain and candy for the boys. so coming up, a big market selloff in the dow pointing down this morning. >> bad, bad, bad. >> and the teeny tiny country that may be responsible for it all. this is a really big storiment we'll tell you all about it. a.-d 34 mpg highway. amazing. see the grille? mm-hmm. let me show you how it works. it opens and closes like this to help you conserve fuel. oh. is that an s.o.s. signal? no, that's the aero grille shutters demonstration. we do it all the time.
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zap. it's our fastest and easiest way to get you into your car. it's just another way you'll be traveling at the speed of hertz. welcome back to "early start," everyone. we're minding your business. stocks around the world are selling off. we could see a drop here, too. >> it's because of one tiny country in europe. allison is in for christine romans this morning. >> you're seeing the markets react. asian markets are down 1% to 2%. the dow is going to open 90 points later. this is all about a tiny island country about the size of rhode island called cyprus. it is below turkey, west of lebanon. it is so small that it accounts only for .2% of gdp for the entire eu. it is having a huge ripple effect. we often talked about the european bailouts. we put that on the back burner. the issue is coming front and
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center again because the reality is cyprus needs a bailout. it's just the fourth country already, can you believe it, that needs a bailout. at this point there is an international agreement on the table to give cyprus $13 billion in bailout money. here's the thing though. anyone with a bank account in cyprus, they're going to have to chip in. there are reports that european -- euro-zone finance ministers want people to hand over 3% of their money when they make a deposit of $129,000 or 100,000 euros or less. let's say you make a deposit of $129,000 that, is $4,000 you're forking over to pay for this bailout. so we need to give a little. every citizen has to give a little. of course, this goes up and up if you deposit higher and higher. they go into the tens of thousands of dollars. the big worry is could this set a precedent for other countries? think about it, cyprus is the fourth country to need a bailout. what about other countries that may need a bailout in is this sort of opening up a can p woof
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worms here? citizens in cyprus, there was a run on the banks. they were getting money out because of what is going onment very scary for a lot of people living there. at this point it's just a proposal. law makers are expected to try to vote on it today. it's been changing because of those actual amounts of taxation were actually higher and becoming more equitable. still a scary thing going on. >> it created fear and the fear itself is creating problems across europe. they have done more damage than they want to correct. >> you know, many are thinking that cyprus is becoming the guinea pig of what to do for the bailouts. >> and it seems like such a crazy concept, right? >> it is. can you imagine? >> no. >> and can you see it in your 401(k) today. >> the great cookie hoax. this is awful. girl scouts duped by an order for 6,000 boxes. who does this? >> mean people. see, i figured low testosterone would decrease my sex drive...
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a deadly sight. a plane crashes into a neighborhood right inside a home. a huge fire and really rough conditions. firefighters and the national guard working overtime to get this under control right now. a daring prison break, hijacking a helicopter, broad daylight, sends inmates on the loose and now a new development overnight. >> sounds like a movie. 24,000 extra cookies after a girl scout troop was duped. insane story. >> that's just not nice at all. >> no, it is not nice. very mean spirited. good morning, everyone. >> it is monday, march 18th. 31 minutes past the hour.
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up first, the investigation under way at this minute to figure out what caused a small plane to crash right into a neighborhood in indiana. the private jet slamming nose first into three homes on iowa street in south bend. it came to a stop inside one of the houses. the plane hit one woman's home while she and her son were inside. >> my roof is caved in. there was glass everywhere. the front of the house window is busted out. i just grabbed my son and got him some clothes and we ran out. >> at this point i'm not worried about material things. i'm just glad my son and i made it out and we're alive. >> two of the four people onboard the plane were killed. three others including one person on the ground were hurt. there's still no word on what might have caused the crash. the ntsb is investigating. happening right now in eastern tennessee, the national guard preparing to deploy two helicopters to help fight a massive fire in the mountain resort town of pigeon forge. take a look at these pictures.
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it broke out late yesterday afternoon. it destroyed more than 30 cabins. fire officials say everyone did get out safely with no one hurt. >> it's a huge fire. large amount of resources up here. we've had -- it's been rough. i mean it's been as rough as ifr ever seen it. >> a giant fire near myrtle beach, south carolina, damaged or destroyed two dozen homes. the flames whipped up by really strong winds. at least four people were injured there. so let's bring in jennifer delgado. she is live in the weather center for us. what are the conditions like for the firefighters this morning? >> hi. well, the conditions are going to be better today. we are looking at the winds not being as strong as yesterday. we're also going to see more of that moisture working in and that is going to help to raise those relative humidity values. that is good news. i also want to point out we have the storms out there. these storms are going to be providing that moisture. you can see a line of them
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developing. a lot of lightning out there. you see snow in the ohio valley. big snow coming down right now through parts of minnesota as well as into dakotas. look at this big heavy band. you combine that in with wind gusts up to 50, 60 miles per hour, guess what? we're dealing with blizzard conditions. anywhere you're seeing in red and this is going to continue until 1:00 a.m. on tuesday. and for the great lakes, we're talking four to eight inches of snowfall. but it's not just the great lakes. what's happening across the mid-atlantic, snow being reported for areas like quantico moving into parts of pittsburgh with wintry mix. now this means for the mid-atlantic, it's going to be messy out there. you're going to be dealing with snow and sleet through the morning and really until 1:00 a.m. that's why we have all these advisories and warnings in place. you'll start to see the snow working into new england. it looks like later this evening. still, some of these locations we're not talking more than a foot of snowfall.
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don't freak out. we're talking higher elevations for areas like boston, one to three inches. new york, you might see a half inch to an inch of snowfall accumulating there. on a wider view, we have a red flag warning for parts of colorado as well as nebraska. that means an increase fire threat and then see crer weatve setting up from mississippi to georgia. there is a lot going on in weather. i don't know if you're writing down the winter weather threats today and severe weather threats. i'm going to be busy. >> almost everywhere. we'll say that. jennifer delgado, thank you. >> you're welcome. developing overnight, a daring prison break in broad daylight. sounds like something out of a movie, honestly. two inmates, two others now under arrest in canada after breaking out a maximum security prison using ropes dangled from a hijacked helicopter. crazy. paula newton is live in ottawa. first talk -- where did they get the helicopter? >> well, apparently a few miles away in a resort community in a
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skiing community, two suspects posed as tourists. when they got on the helicopter, they brandished a gun and said to the pilot, take us to this prison. and that is when people are describing that james bond moment. this helicopter hovered very close to the yard outside that prison. those two suspects hopped onboard the cables and they were whisked away, literally dangling from this helicopter as prison guards looked on. there are conflicting reports as to whether or not one of the suspects was shot in the leg. about 12 hours later it was all over as the two of the suspects went hiding in a wooded area. the police did find them. incredibly, as if this thing could get worse, one of suspects called into a montreal radio station. we can't confirm it was him saying, look, i just had to leave that prison. i don't want to hurt anyone. i don't want to go back there, i'll die if i have to go back there. >> the whole thing is plain nuts. all right. paula newton, our thanks to you. 36 minutes past the hour. fewer debates and a shortened
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primary season. two key recommendations and a republican national committee autopsy report being released in a few hours. it looks at mistakes during the 2012 election and offers a blueprint for 2016. here's rnc chairman speaking about the topic. >> i believe that our primary process is way too long. i think our calendar needs to be looked at. i think our debate calendar needs to be shrunk. i think we had way too many debates with our candidates slicing and dicing each other. i think they waited too long to get to the convention. i'm calling for a convention in june or july and we're going to set up a commission that's going to make that decision. i'm going to be a part of that. i'm going to chair that commission. but no more august conventions. >> priebus says they plan to spend $10 million courting minority voters. passengers aboard the carnival legend are now off the ship and unloading on the cruise company after finally making it back to tampa yesterday.
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>> it was the worst vacation i've ever had. >> the dining room was shaking violently for at least 35 minutes. >> oh, i plan on contacting my lawyer. i plan on contacting the better business bureau. i plan on writing plenty of complaints on that website. >> those are tough reviews right there. so pro puts problems kept the legend from move at top speed, cut out a plan stopping grand caiman. the coast guard inspected the repairs and set to clear for new passengers. >> really? >> girl scouts duped by a cookie hoax. two girl scout troops in portland will get to go to summer camp after all even though a prankster placed a fraudulent order for $24,000. the scouts were stuck with 6,000 unsold boxes of cookies. but a last minute emergency sale had hundreds of people showing up to buy them. >> i wanted to support the girl scouts and felt bad about the story we heard on the news
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yesterday. it wasn't a good thing. plus, i like the cookies. it's a win-win. >> it's a hard lesson for the girls to learn but a really valuable and important business lesson to learn that there are people out there that don't have your best intentions at heart. you need to be prepared for that and know how to handle when it it does happen. >> she was being very kind about that. a local station says the prankster won't be charged. why? because there was no money exchanged. the remaining 3,000 boxes will go on sale next weekend. good luck to those girls. >> if you're hungry, you know where to go. iraq war veterans helping track down sexual predators. why their expertise is now proving crucial. i know what you're thinking... transit fares! as in the 37 billion transit fares we help collect each year. no? oh, right. you're thinking of the 1.6 million daily customer care interactions xerox handles. or the 900 million health insurance claims we process. so, it's no surprise to you that companies depend on today's xerox
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so what's the worst crime can you think of? murder? most cops tell you it is any case involving a sexual pleredar and a child. police departments across the country do not have expertise or personnel to track them down. there is one organization that might be able to change that using iraq war veterans. martin savage explains. >> reporter: all rich robertson ever wanted to do is serve his country. he was in the special forces tracking down terrorists in iraq when a blast tore through his vehicle. >> i blew about a three, four foot hole in the bottom of the
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vehicle, killed four, injured me. >> reporter: now in a wheelchair and out of the army, robertson no longer wears a uniform or carries a gun. but he is still on the hunt. targeting hundreds of thousands of suspected child predators and pornographers operating on the internet. >> what we've got here is what the investigator will have on the screen. >> reporter: he's helping design software that can spot suspected images far faster than humans, dra mat beingly speeding police investigations and the chances of a child's rescue. how quickly compared to a human being? >> oh, gosh, on the order of hundreds times faster. >> reporter: but police departments need more than software, they need expert boots on the ground. lieutenant warren handlin works in the knoxville's children unit. it's the lead agency for the entire state. he has just eight people. which is why robertson's special
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forces background is such a help. >> some of their tactics for looking for the worst of the worst, you know, can be applied to our job. >> reporter: and if grier weeks as his way, robertson is just the tip of the sphere. >> the law enforcement officers on the front lines of this fight are in a war. >> reporter: he saw two problems with a single solution, police departments short on help and wounded heroes looking for work. his foundation the national association of protect children wants to train 200 wounded former special ops vets to become digital forensic's experts, placing them in police departments across the country. he sees them as ruthless warriors honed in battle rescuing children here at home. >> they are the heat seeking missile in the entire investigation who is focused on finding those kids. >> reporter: for robertson, the job offers a perfect reward. >> knowing that i was -- i'm part of a team again that's going out and looking for people that are doing extremely evil
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and vile things. >> reporter: most of all, it gives back to him and those like him something they thought they lost at war, the opportunity to serve. martin savage, cnn, knoxville. 45 minutes past the hour. coming up, a soccer player's nazi salute causing outrage this morning and now we have learned his punishment. and we go inside the world of cirque du soleil and she sees if she can keep up. >> is that you on the top of the pole? >> absolutely. don't i look good? >> and there is you again. sala. with grilled chicken edamame pineapple ginger vinaigrette and crispy noodles. just bring your own lettuce. new lean cuisine salad additions. just byol. find us in frozen. ♪ i don't wanna be right [ record scratch ] what?! it's not bad for you. it just tastes that way. [ female announcer ] honey nut cheerios cereal -- heart-healthy, whole grain oats. you can't go wrong loving it.
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welcome back to "early start," everyone, 49 minutes after the hour. in a few hours the republican national committee releases what some are calling an autopsy report, a blueprint for the party's recovery after its failure during the 2012 elections. among the recommendations, fewer debates, shortened primary season, greater outreach to
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minority voters. so while you were sleeping, canadian police apprehended two inmates and two others in connection with a daring and some white say ridiculous prison escape using a hijacked helicopter. this happened sunday at a maximum security facility in quebec. the helicopter pilot was taken to a local hospital where police will question him. so planned bridge explosion near austin, texas dshgs not go o -- us atip, texas, did not go without a hitch. >> wow. >> so shrapnel perfect the blast cut a fiber optic cable and knocked out cell line numbers in the area. verizon hopes to get some service restored by this morning. >> wow. that's crazy. it looked cool. not good. >> all right. 50 minutes past the hour. for three decades cirque du soleil has been dazzling audiences with visual and acrobatic artestry.
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the latest show is "totem". i got a chance to meet the artists and really got head over heels into all the action. >> tell me about "totem", what does it mean? >> it's about demotion of man kind. it's an aspect of the devotion of the human body and civilization. >> this is quite an impressive setup. >> yes. >> how big is this? how many people can see here? >> you can sit 2600 people in the big top. but it is still very intimate. so wherever you're sitting, you're close to the action. as soon as you step in, you have artists on top of you, walking next to you. you just forget about your reality len et yourself be amazed. so behind me there are videos
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that have been shot around the world. for example this this act there is a shot in asia. ♪ >> with 52 artives from about 17 different countries and 11 different languages, so every day i come on site and i am the artistic director meaning i take care of the show. keep it at the quality that is synonymous for cirque du soleil. >> do you have to be a gymnast in order to be able to be the artistic director of a show like this? >> great question. i would be hooked on painkillers, i think, if i tried to do what they did. absolutely not. >> tell me about crystal man. >> he kind of represent that's spark of life that came to earth whether it came from as could moes or somewhere else. >> you can kind of get an idea. >> it's heavy. >> yes. >> it's very form fitting also. so you are a gymnast. >> i was a gymnast. >> was. you don't consider yourself a
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gymnast anymore? >> it's different now. i'm an artist. gymnastics is more competing and more perfection. we get judged. our show is different. this is entertainment. >> apparently i'm going to try something today. you're going to teach me something. >> i'm going to show you an easy skill. >> you want to show me first? >> yes. >> pull over bar. >> seriously? >> no wayment i don't know that i have the upper body strength for that. are you going to help me? >> bend. there we go. and slowly up. >> you're great. >> i had no idea you swore graceful. >> right. with a lot of help. i got to tell you, one of the coolest things about this. everybody i talked to who works on any of these, they said that
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the nomadic lifestyle is something they enjoyment you just kind of -- you're there for a little bit and then off to another country, maybe another continent. >> it's like joining the circus. >> yes. the one thing i could not find out which i wanted to, everybody loves being a part of cirque du soleil, i was trying to find out how much they get paid. they won't cough up the information. >> do you get the keep the crystal spandex outfit? >> no, it's really difficult to maintain all of those crystals on there and the safety of all of the performers as well. they fall off. if you come on the stage, you could fall off the stage. >> you totally cannot tumble dry. >> actually, a lot of them do go into the washer and drier. i was shocked. >> things you learn. i kept thing you were going to put it on. >> no. >> 54 minutes after the hour now. a soccer player's controversial move on the field. and big consequences for that nazi salute. the big debut of "the lead with jake tapper" 4:00 eastern
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welcome back to "early start," everyone. 58 minutes after the hour and trending online this morning, royal baby news. while will and kate both say they're ready to be parents, they don't quite agree apparently on the gender of their baby. >> what? >> listen to this. the duchess revealed sunday to a soldier at a st. patrick's day celebration in southern england that she would prefer a boy while hustle would prefer a girl. middleton is five months pregnant and due in july. >> isn't she the one that famously kind of already let it
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out of the bag that it's a little girl. >> maybe it's a head fake. all right. greek soccer player reportedly been banned from his national team for life for allegedly flashing a nazi salute after scoring a goal. the greek soccer federation called the player's actions deep insult to all victims of nazi brutality. and on twitter, gesture if he kw what it actually meant. >> what did he think it was? >> i know. >> what do you mistake that for? >> all right. to check other trends head to cnn.com/trends. "early start" continues right now. a deadly nose dive. two people killed, three injured, and several homes damaged as a private jet crashes into a neighborhood in south bend, indiana. >> calling in the national
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guard. ferocious fires destroying two dozen cabins in tennessee and they're not out of the woods yet. a gop autopsy report describes what went wrong for the republicans in 2012 and what they can do to right the ship in time for 2013. and let the madness begin. 68 teams set to compete for the ncaa championship. how does your bracket stack up? i'm spending the next 12 hours exclusively with my bracket. i'm not actually kidding in any way. >> i know. >> welcome, i'm john berman. >> and i'm zoraida sambolin. it is 6:00 a.m. in the east. >> new this morning, an investigation beginning into what caused a private plane to take a deadly dive right into an indiana neighborhood. you have to take a look at these images. plane slamming into two homes, damaging a third, ending up inside one of the houses. >> my roof is caved in. there was glass everywhere. the front of the house, windows busted out.
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i just grabbed my son and got him some clothes and we ran out. >> i have a big picture window and the plane was coming right toward me, and i was afraid it was coming in the house, and it swerved and went across the street. >> i thought that was it. i mean when i looked up the plane was right over the top of me. my wife was standing in the door and i just hit the ground. i thought it was going to explode when it hit but it didn't. >> live on the scene from south bend, indiana, jim, what's the latest on this? that's terrifying what those people are saying? >> yeah, it's a surreal scene here. we're behind these homes. this white piece of metal, we believe that's the tail section of the plane sitting right up against the roof here. it's just a really bizarre sight right in the middle of this neighborhood packed with homes. the latest that we know is that two people are confirmed dead. we know there's another serious injury. we have all those people aboard the plane, not on the ground, at this point. they've still got a lot of work here to do to determine exactly
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what happened, and to make this area safe before people can come back to the homes. >> any of the victims been identified yet, jim? >> they haven't yet. i spoke to the coroner a short time ago. he tells me it will at least be after the 7:00 hour when they potentially could release some of that information. we know this plane began its journey in tulsa, oklahoma, and was bound for here in south bend. >> the damage looks pretty severe to some of those houses. any sense of when the residents will be able to return to their homes? >> they hope to have the neighbors and the rest of the block in sometime later today. but they still do have a lot of work to do. the ntsb is on site and for their investigation, they actually do that with the plane -- the initial part of the investigation, while it's still in the house. they're not going to remove the plane from the homes until they finish their on-site investigation. it will definitely be awhile for the people in those homes before they can get back in there. the rest of the neighbors they hope later this morning. >> just remarkable images to look at. jim spellman, thanks to you.
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it is two minutes past the hour. happening right now, devastating fires in the southeast. the national guard in tennessee preparing to deploy two helicopters today to help fight a massive blaze in a mountain resort town of pigeon forge. look at that blaze. it broke out late yesterday afternoon, and has already damaged or destroyed more than 30 cabins. so far, no one has been hurt. and officials believe flames ignited inside one cabin, and then that's what spread quickly. meanwhile, a giant fire near myrtle beach, south carolina, this weekend, destroyed dozens of homes there. at least four people were injured. while you were sleeping canadian police arresting two inmates who used a hijacked helicopter to pull off a daring prison escape. police say the inmates, 36-year-old benjamin barbow and 33-year-old danny provinceal climbed the ladder dangling from the chopper. they were whisked away from the maximum security facility outside montreal. the first inmate and two unidentified suspects were
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apprehended quickly. the second inmate surrendered overnight. a developing story in western pennsylvania. investigators searching for the cause of a bus crash that killed a pregnant coach of the women's lacrosse team at seton hill university. a vigil was held last night on the campus of the school. that's near pittsburgh. one student saying the student body is just devastated. the bus carrying the woman's lacrosse team skidded off the pennsylvania turnpike and smashed into a tree saturday. coach christina quigley, there she is there, was 30 years old. she was six months pregnant and her unborn child did not survive that crash. the driver on the bus was also killed. and quigley leaves behind a little boy at home and her husband. >> so sad. president obama expected to announce his pick today for labor secretary. it's thomas perez, the assistant attorney general who heads up the justice department civil rights division. the president is also preparing a visit to israel tomorrow. this will be the first international trip of his second term. the first of his presidency to israel. after visiting jerusalem he'll
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head to ramallah, and to ayman, jordan. republicans were dead on arrival to the 2012 presidential elections. new this morning, the rnc is out with its internal review of the election results. and so-called autopsy they're calling it, an autopsy report. it is designed to breathe new life into the party going forward to 2016. rnc chairman reince priebus offered a preview on sunday. >> we have to relate to people's lives. we have to win the math war, which we do a good job of. but we're going to have to learn how to win the hard war and that's in presidential elections what is plaguing our party. >> this comes just after the first votes for 2016 were cast this weekend with kentucky senator rand paul winning the cpac straw poll. mark preston joins us from washington. why is the rnc going public with this kind of soul searching? >> well, you know, zoraida, i think it's an acknowledgment, basically, that the republicans really need to start to recalibrate their message if
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they're going to be successful, not only in the 2014 midterm elections but certainly when they try to make a run at the white house in 2016. one part of the report that we'll see in a couple of hours, they point-blank say that americans don't think that the republican party cares enough about them, but it's going to cost them money, as reince priebus says, to go out into some of these communities, such as hispanic communities and african-american communities. this is what he had to say. >> we're going to be announcing a $10 million initiative just this year, which will include hundreds of people, paid across the country from coast to coast, in hispanic, african-american, asian communities, talking about our party. talking about our brand. talking about what we believe in. >> there you have reince priebus just yesterday previewing a little bit of the report. now zoraida what's very disturbing for republicans from the past election is that they lost the yth vote by 23 points. they lost the african-american
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vote by 87 points. they lost the hispanic votes by more than 40 points. so quite a lot of work for the republican party to do. >> indeed. they're also looking for a heart, that's what he said. doing a little soul searching there. they're not just addressing messaging in this report. the rnc is talking about changing how they choose their presidential nominee. what can you tell us about that? >> it really comes down to mechanics for republicans who are very frustrated at this past election cycle when they really saw this infighting really blow out on the stage. particularly the debate stage where we saw more than 20 debates. let's listen to what reince priebus had to say. >> i think our debate calendar needs to be shrunk. i think we had way too many debates with our candidates slicing and dicing each other. and i think they had to wait too long to get to the convention. i'm calling for a convention in june or july. >> there you have reince priebus talking a little bit about the mechanics behind how republicans, what he thinks, and how republicans should name their nominee.
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zoraida? >> too many debates? i think we would probably all agree. mark preston reporting live for us. thank you. >> seven minutes after the hour right now. pope francis will meet with the president of his home country, argentina, today. he's already faced some controversy. the vatican disputing claims that the pope allowed the kidnapping of two jesuit priests in the 1970s during argentina's so-called dirty war. these days, though, francis really seems to be a breath of fresh air for catholics. the pontiff not afraid to be among the people. he seems to be a smash hit in italy. that is where we find senior international correspondent ben wedeman in rome this morning. good morning, ben. >> good morning, john. it is a cold, rainy and windy morning in rome. but it seems like the sun is shining on pope francis. he is on this cover of almost every magazine, every newspaper in the country. the souvenirs are going selling like crazy. you can buy a small postcard, or
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you can supersize your pope with this almost lifesize poster. definitely he is going down among italians as the people's pope. it could be any church. the priest greeting worshippers one by one after sunday mass. but it wasn't any church, and it wasn't any priest. it was pope francis at the santa ana parish church in the vatican. his charm offensive moving full steam ahead, he stepped outside the vatican and into italian territory to greet well-wishers. >> i was watching some of the video when he came out of the church, and obviously he seemed very personable. really connecting with the people. >> reporter: in his first sunday as pope francis appeared at the window of his papal apartment, overlooking a packed st. peter's square. speaking of forgiveness and compassion.
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and eliciting a laugh when he insisted he wasn't providing free advertising for a cardinal whose writing he praised. he ended his message with a simple wish, have a good sunday, and have a good lunch. argentineans, like the pope, already feels closer to the church. >> one of the catholic has had is they were so high, and you know, too low. so now he's coming low and we are very happy for that. >> reporter: his personal style is going down well. >> this is a very nice, very humble, very nice. >> reporter: now this morning as i was coming in a taxi driver told me he's hoping that pope francis sets an example for italian politicians, and maybe they'll get their act together. >> that would be a miracle. that would be no doubt his first miracle. ben wedeman, thank you.
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there does seem to be a love affair with pope francis in rome. >> i'm a little worried about him. because he's so accessible, and you know, people who have to protect him, that's going to be an awesome job for them. >> it will be tough. but it's nice to see him out. >> it's great. it's great. i'm sure that they love it. but there are crazies out there. ten minutes past the hour. break out those brackets, berman, the field for the ncaa men's basketball tournament is set. louisville is the top seed in the midwest region and number one overall in the tournament. the other number one seed gonzaga in the west, indiana in the east and kansas in the south. last year's champion, kentucky, did not even make the tournament. we're filling out our brackets and you can compete against us. go to cnn.com/brackets and join the cnn group. >> a lot of talk about louisville. having a hard time not picking louisville to win. i don't want to but i might have to. >> don't tell me what you're doing. >> i'm being honest with you. coming up next, there's a guilty verdict for two teenagers in that steubenville rape trial. they may not be the only ones
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in august learned their fate sunday morning. the high school football players for steubenville's big red never took the stand but maintained their innocence throughout. the judge found them guilty on all counts. poppy harlow was in court for the entire trial. she is live for us in steubenville, ohio, this morning. good morning, poppy. >> good morning, john. well, as you know, this case has put this small town in steubenville, ohio, in the national spotlight for months. it has put the victim at the center of it all. in the spotlight. but now the judge has made his decision heard for all to hear. >> reporter: the mother of the 16-year-old victim spoke out for the first time since trent mays and ma'lik richmond raped her daughter saying this after court ended. >> it did not matter what school you went to, what city you lived in or what sports you played, human compassion is not taught by a teacher, coach or a parent. it is a god given gift and instilled in all of us. you displayed not only a lack of this compassion but a lack of any moral code.
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your decisions that night affected countless lives including those most dear to yu. you were your own accuser through the social media that you chose to publish your criminal conduct on. this does not define who my daughter is. she will persevere, grow, and move on. i have pity for you both. i hope you fear the lord, repent for your actions and pray hard for his forgiveness. >> reporter: the convicted rapists, both teenage boys, showing remorse after being found guilty. >> i would truly like to apologize to [ bleep ] her family, my family and the community. >> i would like to apologize. i had no intention to do anything like that. and i'm sorry to put you guys through this. i'd just like -- i just want you to understand i'm sorry.
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i ruined her life for life. >> the 16-year-old girl was raped during a series of late night parties in august when she was drunk. >> the court is able to view the demeanor of the witnesses, judge their credibility, and weigh the evidence presented to the court. the court has done so in this case and it is the court's decision that both of the defendants are hereby adjudicated delinquent beyond a reasonable doubt on all three counts as charged. >> ma'lik richmond sentenced to a minimum of one year in a juvenile correction facility for rape. trent mays to a minimum of two years, guilty of rape and of taking and distributing an illegal nude photograph of the victim. both mays and richmond will also have to register as juvenile sex offenders. prosecutors said the girl was so intoxicated she wasn't capable of consenting to anything.
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>> this case is about a 16-year-old girl who was taken advantage of, toyed with and humiliated. and it's time that the people who did that to her are held responsible. >> reporter: eyewitness testimony from three teenage boys, all friends of mays and richmond, and all granted immunity from criminal prosecution, was damaging. one witness saying he videotaped mays performing a sexual act on the girl during a car ride between parties. two others testified they saw richmond do the same later that night while she was lying naked on the floor. in the state of ohio, this act performed without consent constitutes rape. >> there seems to be an unbelievable casualness about rape and about sex. it's a cavalier attitude, a belief that somehow there isn't even wrong with any of this. >> reporter: text messages, tweets and photos were at the
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center of the trial. fellow teens vulgarly joked about the rape. song of the night is definitely "rape me" by nirvana. >> what if that was your daughter? >> but it isn't. if it was my daughter, i wouldn't care. i'd just let her be read. >> witnesses read text messes including this one about the victim from trent mays to a friend. yeah, dude, she was like a dead body. i just needed some sexual attention. there was no jury. this was a bench trial with visiting judge thomas lipps rendering a verdict because this was a juvenile case. and, john, while richmond and mays are serving time, they're also going to have to undergo treatment to ensure that they do not commit another sex crime. and the charges in this instance may not be over. yesterday, after court ended, ohio's attorney general mike dewine held a press conference, where he said he will be gathering a grand jury here in mid-april to determine whether
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or not others may have committed other crimes around this incident. i did speak at length yesterday with the civil attorney for the victim and her family. he said at this point they have not decided whether they will go ahead and also press civil charges. john? >> all right, poppy harlow in steubenville. our thanks to you. >> 20 minutes past the hour. two big employers try a radical new approach to health care benefits. the results are in this morning. and why workers may be willing to spend more of their own money for health care. matt's brakes didn't sound right... ...so i brought my car to mike at meineke...
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23 minutes past the hour. minding your business this morning, dow futures are down, about 75 points today. markets here are following a big sell-off in asia. investors all around the world are concerned that yet another european country needs a bailout. this time cyprus. >> could be a big deal. also a new approach for health care. some employers are offering workers a set amount of cash to buy their health insurance. cnn's alison kosik is here today in for christine romans. >> they're comparison shopping. it's as if you go to the grocery store. they're comparison shopping, trying to find the cheaper plan, but at the same time what they're doing is taking on more risk. here's how we know this. "the wall street journal" is reporting today that there are some companies out there already, like sears and darden restaurants which owns and operates red lobster and olive garden, they're offering their employees a set amount of money for health care and letting
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workers essentially shop their own health care plan. when they're given that set amount of money, guess what? they're going with a cheaper plan. because there was a huge drop in the number of people choosing ppos. 70% of them took ppos last year. only 47% took them this year. ppos are more expensive at the outset. you tend to get better health care coverage if something does happen to you. but instead what's happening is a growing number of people are going for the cheaper plan. 39% this year, as opposed to 12% last year. but by doing that, an employee may wind up paying more out of pocket if suddenly they get sick unexpectedly and need to happen into their health care coverage more. one reason they're talking about this, it's one of the main tenets of obama care that goes into full effect at the beginning of next year. so we're getting a taste of what it may look like. to see how people choose their health care plan. >> and if that trend continues. what's the one thing we need to know. >> stocks are set to fall today on the news from cyprus. it's still been a really, really good year for the market and your 401(k).
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have you looked lately? the s&p 500 which many of our mutual funds track is up 9% just this year. remember it's normal. very healthy to see ups and downs in the market. you really don't want to see the market keep on going up and up and up because the market could be setting itself up for a big pullback. the little pullbacks that we may see are healthy. the dow is expected to drop about 90 points at the open. may be a rocky day. >> but don't panic. >> no. >> 26 minutes after the hour right now. in a daring prison break in broad daylight, with a hijacked helicopter. we have new details this morning in this really startling story. coming up next. [ male announcer ] the lexus command performance sales event has begun. ♪ featuring the lexus gs and is performance lines. because control is the ultimate expression of power. ♪
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wildfires raging in the south. dozens of cabins are already burned, and now they're calling in the national guard to help. a neighborhood in indiana devastated after a small plane crashes right into several homes. two people are dead. and now investigators want to know how it could possibly happen. president obama about to make his first visit to israel since taking office. but how happy are the israelis to receive him? >> call it the great cookie caper. the girl scouts, duped. so will anyone step up before the cookies crumble? ouch. welcome back to "early start," i'm john berman. >> i'm zoraida sambolin. it is monday, march 18th. we do have some breaking news. we've just learned that an improvised explosive device, devices, actually, have been found at the university of central florida. classes have been canceled until at least noon today. police received a 911 call about a suspect with a gun right after
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midnight. approximately 500 students were evacuated from the dorm on the central campus. this is in orlando. the explosive devices were found, we're being told, along with one person who was found dead. it looks like that person killed him or herself with a single gunshot wound. no word on the identity of that person. we will have more on this breaking news story as it comes in. again, ieds found at the university of central florida. classes canceled there until at least noon. we have another developing story this morning. the national guard being called in to battle a wildfire raging in the mountains of eastern tennessee. the guard is preparing to deploy two helicopters to help fight that massive blaze in the resort town of pigeon forge. it broke out late yesterday afternoon and has already damaged or destroyed more than 30 cabins there. fire officials believe everyone got out safely and no one is hurt. >> it's a huge fire. large amount of resources up here. we've had -- it's been rough.
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i mean, it's been as rough as i've ever seen it. >> meantime a giant fire near myrtle beach, south carolina this weekend damaged or destroyed at least two dozen homes there. those flames whipped up by some really strong winds. at least four people were injured there. so let's bring in jennifer delgado live in the weather center. what are the conditions like for those firefighters this morning? >> you know what? we are going to see an improvement. we're going to see some moisture moving in the form of showers and thunderstorms. here's the forecast for monday and tuesday. notice the winds aren't going to be as strong as what they were yesterday and some of these locations those winds were up to 25 to 30 miles per hour with those gusts. now here's why. you see the storms moving through. nice little line, and of course this is going to increase the relative humidity. so nature is going to help provide some relief there. but up towards the north we're looking at another storm and this is bringing some very heavy snow fall. look at this band right here moving through parts of minnesota. that, along with wind gusts up to 60 miles per hour, we're
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talking blizzard conditions expected through the evening. now notice some of the snow totals, 4 to 8 inches, 2 to 4 inches for parts of the upper midwest, as well as even into the great lakes. now, across the mid-atlantic, you have snow, you have some sleet mixing in for parts of virginia, washington, d.c., quantico. it is going to be a messy commute out there, really through about 1:00 p.m. this afternoon. this is going to change over to mostly rain. but that has to go somewhere. it's going to be moving up towards new england. and starting late tonight, you see that snow working in. some of these locations a foot or more of snowfall. for the mid-atlantic and those major cities, like washington, d.c., philadelphia, new york, we are talking maybe about one inch of snow. if that's not enough for you, we are still talking a severe weather threat setting up for mississippi, all the way over towards georgia, and then red flag warning and that means fire danger for parts of colorado, as well as into texas, nebraska, there's a lot going on, guys. and guess what? spring starts on wednesday. it's hard to believe, because
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we're going to be cool for the next couple days. once we get these fronts out of here. >> almost impossible to believe when we talk to you. thank you so much, jennifer. 33 minutes past the hour. another developing story that we're following for you. some horrifying scene in south bend, indiana. take a look at this. a private jet slams into two homes, possibly damaged a third, and it ended up nose-first inside one of those homes. the body of the plane virtually splitting in half. an fa spokesman says there were four people on board that plane. two of them are dead and at least three other people, including one person on the ground, are injured. the ntsb this morning is investigating tl what happened there. this developing overnight, a daring prison break in broad daylight. two inmates, two suspected accomplices, they are now under arrest in canada, after breaking out of a maximum security prison using ropes dangled from a hijacked helicopter. let that sink in for a moment.
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they escaped on ropes dangled from a hijacked helicopter near montreal. paula newton is live in ottawa. i guess the first question people are asking today is where did they get the helicopter? >> well their bright idea was to tell a helicopter pilot, charter it, say that they wanted a nice view of the mountains. instead, they then apparently stick a gun to the head of the pilot and said take us to the prison. they hovered very, very closely over the yard. the two prisoners as the guards looked on dangled from those cables and were literally swept away, as one witness said, it was that james bond moment. but twelve hours later, after a manhunt it was all over. but not before one of the suspects called in to a radio station in montreal and says he doesn't want to hurt anyone, he just doesn't want to go back to that prison. police still trying to understand the details of exactly what happened and how and we expect to hear more later this morning. >> i think they'll be checking into this one for a long time to
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come. paula newton, thanks to you. the girl scouts, victims of a cookie hoax. but it turns out two girl scout troops in portland will likely get to go to summer camp after all. even though a prankster placed a fraudulent order for 24,000 dollars. go ahead. you want to tell the rest of the story? >> sure. the scouts were stuck with 6,000 unsold boxes of cookies, but a last-minute emergency sale this weekend had hundreds of people lining up to buy. >> i felt bad about the story we heard on the news yesterday, and was it a good thing, plus i like the cookies. it's a win-win. >> it's a hard lesson for the girls to learn but a really important and valuable business lesson to learn that there are people out there who don't have your best intentions at heart. and you need to be prepared for that, and know how to handle it when it does happen. >> there are some sketchy people out there. >> that is correct. >> the prankster will not be charged because no money was
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actually exchanged here. the remaining 3,000 boxes of cookies, there are still 3,000 left, they will go on sale next week. >> i guess it's okay to change your mind when you do volume orders like that? maybe they'll learn from that and put something -- anyway. that is so mean. up next the very real remnants of war nearly ten years after the start of the iraq war, the nation is still reeling. up next, cnn's arwa damon talks to the veterans whose battle scars remain. and we're following breaking news. explosive devices found on the campus of the university of central florida. we are live with an update. all stations come over to mission a for a final go.
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soledad o'brien is here with
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a look at what's ahead on "starting point." >> lots happening this morning. going to talk about the gop releasing that new report. a really unusual report highlights their failures and what they can do to reach new voters. does the plan go far enough to save the party? we'll take a look at that with ari fleischer. he was co-chair of the project. also cnn anchor jake tapper kicks off his new show. then part one of my sit-down interview with the facebook coo sheryl sandberg. you know she's got this new book out called "lean in" which is all about women and their lack of numbers, frankly, at the top echelons at the workforce. there's been some critics. we'll ask her about that criticism of her book. and a groundbreaking moment in history gets its debut on the silver screen. we talk about the sapphires when women performed for the u.s. troops during the vietnam war. that's all ahead at the top of the hour. >> thank you. we're following this
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morning, improvised explosive devices that have been found at the university of central florida. classes have been canceled until at least noon. >> about 500 students evacuated from a dorm room after police got a 911 call and arrived to find the devices in one person apparently they found dead, apparently a suicide. the associate vice president for communications of public affairs at ucf and i wonder if you can give us an update here. we hear improvised explosive devices. what exactly does that mean? >> i can tell you that when police did the survey of the room, they discovered a bag that had improvised explosive devices in it. out of an abundance of caution, we evacuated, and a parking garage. >> can you walk us through exactly what happened? >> sure about 12:20 this morning, fire alarm call was received for the tower one building.
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en route to the fire alarm our ucf police received a 911 call for a man with a gun. when police arrived they found the subject dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot. >> were any other students involved? was anyone else in danger? >> well, i can tell you that we evacuated tower one immediately, and conducted a thorough search and part of that search and response discovered an assault weapon and explosive device. >> i know it's very early in the investigation. do we know anything about, was this a student? do we know anything about that student? >> we're still trying to gather all the people to the. i'd expect by later today we'll have a much more clear picture. from the university perspective we're just pleased that we have university police department that trains for this type of thing. our police chief richard barry is heavily involved with these types of responses. and so our students and communities should know that we're here to keep them safe. >> now the devices have been removed they're no longer a threat to the community?
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>> the orange county bomb squad is on scene and they're in the process of evaluating and determining how to deal with those devices. >> i know, as we have all these major crises that happen at universities and colleges across the country that you have some notification system in place for the parents. did that happen here? >> yes, we notified both text messages, e-mails and websites, and if there are any parents wondering, you can go to ucf.edu and we have the latest information there. >> i noticed classes were cancelled. do you know whether or not you're going to reinstate them today or maybe tomorrow? >> well, classes are canceled in the main campus only, the main orlando campus only until noon, and before then, we'll have a meeting to determine whether or not we need to keep classes closed or if we can reopen. >> i know that you're very busy there and we really appreciate that you took some time to talk to us this morning. we wish you luck. grant heston, from public affairs at the university of central florida. thank you.
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>> we'll stay on that story. meanwhile tomorrow marks the ten-year anniversary of the u.s. invasion of iraq. we're taking a look now at how the war changed that country. two journalists know the story better than cnn's arwa damon. she retraced her steps to an area that still bears the scars of the marines fight against al qaeda. first, want to give you a warning here. some of the war footage you're about to see is pretty graphic and disturbing. >> reporter: we're heading along the euphrates river valley, land that once made up part of al qaeda's kingdom in iraq. driving towards husayba, a town close to the syrian border. the market is vibrant, alive. so different from the last time i was here. it was november, 2005. i was embedded with u.s. marines on operation steel curtain.
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it was similar to countless other imbeds. troops going house to house, civilians filing out, petrified. a man named mohammed drejev was among them and he told me -- >> we want them to save us from the terrorists. we want stability. >> reporter: a simple wish, perhaps. but al qaeda killed anyone who spoke out against them. no civilian i had ever met had dare do so so openly. i was in awe of mohammed's courage. the battle was intense. fighters worked in alleyways, hid behind doors. the ground shook in the u.s. bombardment. but it wasn't only al qaeda they hit. in one strike, one entire family was killed. people had buried the dead in a
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garden. a curfew prevented them from going to the graveyards. when we arrived, they were digging up and moving the bodies. all but one were women and children. and there was mohammed regef, still searching for victims. the dead were his relatives. as the body of 11-year-old abdullah was recovered, mohammed said -- >> look at him. look at him. you would swear that he was sleeping. >> reporter: seven years later, i want to find mohammed again. so we gave one of our stringers who kind of works in this area a photograph, a screen graph from the footage that we had of mohammed and we told him the story. and then he began trying to track him down. it turns out he's pretty well known, but we think his shop is right around the corner here. i want to give him a hug, but that's not appropriate here.
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i tell him he hasn't changed and that i have thought often of his family. >> translator: look, that's my son. remember the one who had the little baby? he was shot in the stomach by the americans when he was in his car. >> reporter: his tone, matter of fact. he is so welcoming it's humbling. we walked towards his house. he remembers exactly how the military unit that i was with actually approached his house and his treat. and we come up from this narrow alleyway and this part i do remember, but in that house right there, there was a foreign fighter who had just been killed by the u.s. forces. it's a bleak tour. he points out another house that al qaeda had taken over. and al qaeda at the time actually threatened him because he was complaining some about the fact that they were endangering people in the neighborhood by, you know, their presence there and also because
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they were bomb making all of these bombs and whatnot. and then he proudly introduces us to his family. this young man was the baby that he was carrying in his arms when he first walked out of the house when we first met him. and then i asked, why didn't you speak out and beg the americans to save them? >> translator: we had nothing left to lose. we wanted to get rid of this chaos. >> then came the air strikes. >> translator: i never imagined we would pay the price. we never imagined that the americans wouldn't differentiate between friend and foe. it was all the same to us. >> reporter: he's unable to articulate his emotions that day. the rubble of the house that was pulverized is long cleared. another home built on the lot. grass covers the place where
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those bodies were temporarily buried. rows of tombstones just a short distance away. some of these graves still have what were used as the original tombstones lying next to them, with the names crudely carved into the rock. and it was all that they could do at the time, so that they would remember who was buried where. today, mohammed's views about the u.s. invasion are very different. >> translator: i wish that the americans had never come. they ruined our country. they planted division and brought in things that were not -- >> reporter: ten years on, iraqis are still paying the price for an invasion they had no say in. and, john, what happens makes what's happened in iraq especially heartbreaking is that there was such optimism that existed when saddam hussein's regimes first fell. what happened afterwards absolutely devastated this
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country, and still iraqis right now are struggling to try to survive in a country that is neither entirely stable or secure. >> ten years later. and so many difficulties do continue. arwa damon live this morning in baghdad. our thanks to you. >> 50 minutes past the hour. up next, selection sunday goes awry. the college basketball team who had to see if they make the big dance from a best buy store.
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to the finest comforts above. we're not simply saluting history... we're making it. college basketball selection sunday -- >> hold it up. >> the brackets. >> today's bleacher report. good morning. >> good morning, guys. according to a yahoo survey, takes fans an average of 75 minutes to fill out their bracket. i'm about 30 minutes into mine right here. looks like i'm probably going to take a little longer than that. yesterday championship week wrapped up with four games. one of those being the acc title game between miami and north carolina. the hurricanes would come out on top to win the acc for the first time in school history.
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but it still wasn't enough to earn them a one seed in the big dance. miami will be a two seed in the east region. louisville the number one overall seed in the tournament. the other one seeds are kansas, indiana, and gonzaga. last year's number one overall seed and defending champion kentucky, they failed to make the tournament this year. st. louis wrapped up the atlantic 10 title yesterday. after the game they tried to get right to the airport to watch the selection show but they got stuck in traffic in new jersey. so the entire team stopped off at a local best buy and set up their own watch party in the magnolia room. a decent crowd of shoppers joined them as they learned they would be the fourth seed in the midwest region. pretty cool. will lebron and the heat ever lose again? miami beat the raptors yesterday for their 22nd consecutive win. that ties the houston rockets
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for the second longest streak ever. they're now 11 wins away from tying the '72 lakers for the longest streak in nba history. miami plays in boston tonight and ironically it was the celtics who snapped the rockets 22-game winning streak five years ago. >> we'll be ready for the game. you know. i'm not worried about our level of play or our level of focus, because we know the team we're playing. >> there was no love lost yesterday between former teammates joey logono and denny hamlin at the sprint cup race at bristol motor speedway. loganno confronted him after the race. a shoving match ensued. logano said he's probably the worst teammate i've ever had. got to be a pretty good deal if you're a best buy shopper and you end up being part of an ncaa
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tournament watch party. >> you definitely have to pick them if you watched the selection with them. >> well -- >> they're the favorite now. >> andy, thanks, man. coming up on "starting point," we'll have more on this breaking news story. explosive devices found at the campus of the university of central florida. we will have some new details at the top of the hour. i'm lorenzo. i work for 47 different companies. well, technically i work for one. that company, the united states postal service®,
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